This article contains spoilers. 2.5/5 stars From Soundtrack #1 ’s very first scene, it’s been clear to anyone watching that Sunwoo (Park Hyung-sik) has been in love with Eunsoo (Han So-hee), his best friend for the past 19 years, for a very long time. How she could not have picked up on his lingering stares filled with longing and his constant I’m-talking-about-someone-else-but-I’m-really-talking-about-you anecdotes is something of a mystery, especially since everyone else in the show seems to have a handle on his feelings as well. Lyricist Eunsoo’s producer Kang Woo-il (Kim Joo-hun) realises it immediately when he calls her in for an impromptu meeting and she brings photographer Sunwoo with her. The sweet and impeccably mannered Sunwoo, in a jealous fit, suddenly becomes a churlish buffoon. Sunwoo is so territorial and disruptive that, at the end of the meeting, Woo-il suggests that Eunsoo ask her friend about unrequited love. Soundtrack #1: Han So-hee, Park Hyung-sik in Disney+ romance K-drama Of course Eunsoo has been doing just that, having twisted Sunwoo’s arm into staying with her for two weeks so that she can be inspired by his professed unrequited love for the fictional ‘Jennifer’ as she struggles to capture the right words for a rewrite to the lyrics of a song for a top star, played in a brief cameo by Seo In-guk, a pop singer. The reason for this cohabitation is that Eunsoo doesn’t have the experience to be able to write the lyrics to a song about unrequited love. Yet this proves to be a falsehood. As we learn later, eight years earlier, when Sunwoo had to perform his military service in South Korea, she was already in love him, so she knows how it feels to harbour a deep affection for someone that is not reciprocated (since she has remained apparently oblivious to his feelings for her). One could argue that her entreaty to him to help her with her lyric-writing is a pretext to be closer to him, but that would assume Eunsoo had somehow sabotaged her own work, since her previous draft, according to Woo-il, evinced no understanding of the subtleties of unrequited love. It would also fly in the face of her desire to keep a lifelong friendship rather than risk entering a relationship that might not last. The two weeks proceed with lots of drinking of malgeolli (fermented Korean rice wine), some cooking and a few misunderstandings. There are a lot of shots of Eunsoo agonising over her work as she scribbles lines in her bright and impeccably designed city centre home – who knew rewriting the lyrics to a pop song could take as long as the draft of a book? Eunsoo duly hands in the new lyrics and, with very little fanfare, Woo-il compliments her and approves them. This moment is treated as an afterthought, and though it shouldn’t take precedence over the romance at the show’s core, it feels like a missed opportunity for a cathartic connecting-the-dots moment. It also robs Eunsoo of agency. She had earlier begged for a second chance to rewrite the lyrics and now barely acknowledges her own success. It’s not as if she’s reached a point where she has become overwhelmed by her feelings for Sunwoo. She is lively and energetic and her response to the biggest professional moment in her career feels decidedly out of character. Sunwoo has also displayed a disregard for his career. The budding photographer scraps a planned exhibition, apparently because of his feelings for Eunsoo. The reasoning behind this isn’t altogether clear, yet it’s a calamitous professional blunder. Sunwoo, however, falls upwards, and is soon given an opportunity to work alongside a world-famous photographer on a year-long, globe-trotting trip for no discernible reason. 8 new Korean drama series to look out for in April 2022 The show’s last episode begins a year after Sunwoo’s departure. Things are going well for Eunsoo at work, she brushes off the romantic advances of her producer and Sunwoo soon returns. Now it’s Eunsoo’s turn to be a jealous miscreant as Sunwoo has a cute new assistant clearly angling for his affections, but this only gets a few minutes of screen time before the series settles down for its closing confession scene – in which Eunsoo borrows their friends’ restaurant for the night, invites Sunwoo over and spills the beans. The show ends in more or less the only place it was ever going to, but it begs the question: was the journey to this predestined point worth the effort? Given its short season, Soundtrack #1 has a lot less meat than the richer dramas Han and Park appeared in last year. But modest or not, this is a romantic drama and, on that score, neither of the stars can sell the romance. The writing, with its inconsistent characters and relationships dynamics, doesn’t help much. Now that it’s all over, the lingering impression is one of a glossy, bright and wistful commercial, regurgitating plot devices and sentimental tropes we’ve seen a thousand times before without achieving any emotional resonance of its own. Soundtrack #1 is streaming on Disney+.